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Team to skip events with ref who told wrestler to cut dreads

December 27, 2018
FILE - In this file image taken from a Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, video provided by SNJTODAY.COM, Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson gets his hair cut courtside minutes before his match in Buena, N.J., after a referee told Johnson he would forfeit his bout if he did not have his dreadlocks cut off. A lawyer for Johnson is suggesting the impromptu hair cut was due in part to the referee's tardiness. Buena Regional High School wrestler Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair, but referee Alan Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn't do. (Michael Frankel/SNJTODAY.COM via AP, File)

BUENA, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey school district says its wrestling team will no longer compete in events officiated by a referee who told a wrestler to lose his dreadlocks or forfeit his bout.

The announcement came during an emergency meeting held Wednesday with the Buena Regional school board and members of the community. The groups that assign referees have already said they wouldn’t assign the ref until further notice.

Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson had his dreadlocks cut minutes before the match Dec. 19.

Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair, but referee Alan Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn’t do. Maloney didn’t respond to requests for comment.

WCAU-TV reports the high school’s wrestling coach and athletic trainer discussed the incident with board members behind closed doors Wednesday.

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